Accounting for ecosystem services in the forest sector – Forico, Tasmania

Since 2016, Forico and IDEEA Group have worked together to apply the United Nations System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) in the Forico Estate. Phase 1 of the work program explored the feasibility of applying the SEEA framework to the Forico estate, while Phase 2 put the concepts developed during Phase 1 into practice. It is understood that these efforts are the first to employ the UN SEEA principles to account for the environment and ecosystems at the business level.

Completed in September 2018, Phase 2 of the work program involved:

  1. accounting for the stock and condition of ecosystem assets held by Forico
  2. accounting for the flow of ecosystem services supplied by these ecosystem assets
  3. developing a method to integrate this information with financial information

A key outcome of the work was a set of environmental accounts that enable Forico to recognise the value of the ecosystem services that it delivers. Incorporating environmental-economic accounting into standard financial accounting approaches and business processes provides several benefits for Forico including:

  1. improved operational decision-making by using a more complete set of financial accounts;
  2. improved communication to stakeholders through the recognition of a wider range of environmental values; and
  3. improved strategic allocation of financial resources to maximise the flows of ecosystem services.

Additionally, the accounts could be used to report on requirements under the Forest Stewardship Council’s (FSC) newly released FSC National Forest Stewardship Standard for Australia

How can tourism drive sustainable development in the MENA region?

With tourism’s contribution to Middle Eastern GDP expected to increase from $200 billion to over $350 billion by 2025, the sustainability of its impact on local economic development will be vital to the regions’ social and ecological future.
IDEEA Group will be there when Ministers of Tourism and industry leaders in the Middle Easter and North African region (MENA) attend the UNWTO & Arabian Travel Market Ministerial Forum to discuss how to capitalise on tourism growth while building a sustainable ecosystem.
IDEEA Group’s Carl Obst will attend the Forum as panelist to talk on the topic of Tourism’s contribution to sustainable and inclusive economic growth and diversification in the MENA region. Carl will highlight the important role that SEEA based planning and reporting frameworks have to play in defining and assessing sustainable development strategies and targets, speaking on behalf of UNTWO about their Measuring Sustainable Tourism (MST) Initiative.
This event provides an opportunity for local experts interested in learning more about Environmental Economic Accounting, SEEA and MST to meet Carl and discuss your own challenges for measuring and reporting on the social and environmental outcomes of economic development.

Measuring sustainable tourism

IDEEA Group will be presenting at the 6th UNWTO International Conference on Tourism Statistics in Manila during June. Under the broad conference theme of Measuring Sustainable Tourism,  our focus will be on SEEA aligned frameworks for integrating destination based measures of tourism’s impact across economic, social and environmental dimensions.

The Manila Conference aims to secure a Ministerial level resolution for UN members to adopt more sustainable, destination based development policies, as a key outcome for 2017 as The Year of Sustainable Tourism Development.